When you hear the name Wedgewood the first thing that probably comes to mind is Wedgewood China from England. But there's another old Wedgewood brand, not a maker of china, but rather of antique stoves made in America. As early as 1882, James Graham was designing and creating wood stoves at his foundry in Newark, California. After his death in 1902, his sons took over the business and introduced the Wedgewood line in 1910 which peaked production in the 1940s. If you think you have a Wedgewood stove, it's a good idea to try to identify it for its resale value or to insure it.
Check for a tin plate identifying it as a Wedgewood stove. The tin plate is located on the back, top center area of the stove. Check the stove door clock for a name and a date. This information will be printed in very small letters and located around the bottom border of the circular dial. Later stoves had larger clocks set into the top backsplash.
Look for paper labels with the stove model or name. Check for the name "James Graham Foundry," the original company name; also look for the company name that followed--Jame's Graham Manufacturing Company. Look on the back or the bottom of the stove for these.
Look for a vintage (or reproduction) Wedgewood stove catalog from the James Graham company listing the various Wedgewood stoves they sold so you can compare the illustrations and data in the catalog to your stove. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or an antique dealer in the Newark, California area to see if they have vintage or reproduction catalogs from the James Graham company. Check for the catalogs on online bookstores such as www.abebooks.com. Post requests for the Wedgewood stove catalog on online antique stove site forums such as the "Discussion Forum" at www.myantiquestove.com.
Take a photograph of your stove and email it to an expert at an online antique stove restoration company who handles antique Wedgewood stoves. These dealers are very familiar with restoring Wedgewood stoves and should be able to identify yours fairly easily. Two online stove restoration companies that may be able to help you are the Antiques Gas Stove Company at www.antiquegasstoves.com or a firm named Antique Stoves at www.antiquestoves.com.
Refer to one of the antique stove identification and price guide books available at bookstores or your local library such as "Authentic Victorian Stoves, Heaters, Ranges," edited by Puzant Kevork Thomajan,1988. These books, written by specialists, contain unique information about this category of antiques and should supply you with information, photos and sources about an antique Wedgewood stove.
Robert Gray has been writing full time since 1995. His first photography book took seven years to research and publish. He specializes in writing on photography and the arts. He's written for Photography Magazine, Large Format Camera Magazine and many online art and photography websites and blogs.